All New Horizons’ full-time, professional faculty members hold at minimum a baccalaureate degree from an accredited or recognized college and are certified by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Many hold additional advanced degrees and certifications while all continue to enrich their professional credentials through training and coursework. In the classroom, our teachers pride themselves on their ability to discover the unique attributes and learning styles of their students. Through their passion, dedication, and creativity, New Horizons faculty share a special dynamic with their students that is at the heart of what makes learning at New Horizons such a unique experience.
Donna Clark, Director Every day, Ms. Donna enjoys her drive to work excited to encounter all the magic and joy that only an educational setting can provide. Donna grew up surrounded by farmland in her native southern New Jersey. From there, she went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education at Rowan University as well as a Master of Instructional Design from Florida State University. Donna’s love for the children and learning fills her day, not only as school director but also as a gifted educator who continues to collaborate on curriculum planning. Outside of school, she treasures time with her husband and two sons, reading, hiking, kayaking and pretending to sing.
Ansley Trask, Kindergarten
Ms. Ansley’s passion and energy for learning are contagious. She enriches her classroom with intangibles that simply cannot be measured but that will stay with her students for a lifetime. An Atlanta, Georgia native, Ansley went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from the College of Charleston. After graduating, she and her husband William made Wilmington their home. Her teaching experience spans pre-kindergarten through third grade and includes training in The Orton-Gillingham approach to reading. When she is not at school, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading a good book, or creating something crafty.
Kristen Jupena, First Grade
Ms. Kristen’s positive outlook shines through in the smiling face she wears everyday. Her students thrive off of her enthusiasm. She was born and raised in Durham, North Carolina and continued on to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from the Watson School of Education at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Kristen has since taught in New Hanover County public schools both in kindergarten and first grades. She and her husband, Nick, have two children and quite a few pets. When she is not teaching, Kristen enjoys playing tennis, reading, going to the beach, and photographing nature.
Nicole Golf, Second Grade
Ms. Nicole is thrilled to join the New Horizons family. Her philosophy is to reach all learners through engaged learning in a flexible setting. Her love for reading is evident as her students become lifelong readers. Ms. Nicole grew up on Long Island, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and Special Education from Malloy College. Shortly after graduating college, she made Wilmington her home and began her teaching career. Having taught both second and third grade, she knows exactly what her students need to be successful. Outside of school Ms. Nicole enjoys spending time with her husband and her two adorable sons, gardening, crafting and traveling.
Crystal Kaus, Third Grade
Ms. Crystal is overjoyed to join the New Horizons family. She brings an enthusiastic love for hands-on, project-based learning. Ms. Crystal grew up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where her love for the arts and nature flourished. That love for nature brought her to the coast for college, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She taught for many years at Sunset Park Elementary School locally. Her passion for teaching led her to earn her National Board Teaching Certification. Outside of school, Ms. Crystal loves spending time with her husband, their two young sons, and their Labrador retriever. Her family stays busy playing sports, travelling, and exploring the beach.
Heather Miles, Fourth Grade
Ms. Heather’s energy, and enthusiasm for teaching resonates through her classroom. She was born in Guam but grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. Her lover for warm weather moved her to Florida where she lived for 20 years. Her passion for the outdoors and adventure kept her on the coast with her most recent move to Wilmington in June of 2017. Ms. Heather has a BS in Sociology with a minor in history. She earned a Master’s degree in Education with an emphasis in reading. She has extensive teaching experience in private schools as she loves the importance of emphasizing community and character building as well as high academic achievement. Through her many years of teaching she has taught 3rd, 4th, and 6th grades. She has enjoyed coaching girl’s soccer and volleyball, chaperoning many exchange trips to Europe and facilitating community service clubs. Ms. Heather and her husband of 20 years have three sons. Outside of school you will find her playing sports, relaxing at the beach with a book or traveling.
Annetta Saggese, Fifth Grade
Ms. Annetta inspires our fifth graders to achieve milestones and to be confident, courageous learners. She grew up in Essex Fells, New Jersey and continued on to earn her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and English from the University of Vermont. She then became one of the founding teachers at the San Diego Cooperative Charter School. Annetta and her husband Matt were drawn back to the East Coast and she has been providing New Horizons students with a truly memorable fifth grade experience ever since. Each year, there are many bittersweet tears in Annetta’s classroom, as her students reluctantly move on to middle school, having to say goodbye to this special individual. In her spare time, Annetta loves gardening, the beach, and spending time with her daughter.
Jill Caldwell, PE/Health
Ms. Jill motivates our kids to be active and enjoy the wonders of play. She ensures that sportsmanship is a priority for all of our students. Jill received her Bachelors of Arts degree from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and taught in the Duplin County Schools. Helping to reduce childhood obesity is one of her lifelong professional goals. Conducting programs such as Jump Rope for Heart and Skills and Drills, along with our structured Health and Physical Education classes, helps her to accomplish this goal. Jill stays active by running, kayaking, biking and visits to the YMCA. Her motto: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
Suzy Altman, Music/Art
Ms. Suzy is a gifted teacher with an amazing ability to develop students’ artistic and musical talents. She is originally from Fayetteville, North Carolina and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. In addition to teaching music and art enrichment classes, Suzy leads our chorus program and offers private singing lessons after school to many of our New Horizons students. She enjoys living in Wilmington with her husband and children and spends her free time at the beach, traveling, and watching sports.
Maria Elena Viglucci, Spanish
With her passion and energy, Ms. Maria Elena creates an encouraging environment for her students to delve into the Hispanic culture. She was born and raised in a bilingual home in San Juan, Puerto Rico. After leaving the Caribbean, she attended the University of Pennsylvania where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Consumer Psychology and her Master of Elementary Education. Maria Elena has extensive elementary teaching experience having worked in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Louisiana, California, and North Carolina school systems. She loves to run but also enjoys relaxing at Masonboro Island with her family and friends.